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Bringing play into Math

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Today I facilitated an Integers Bingo lesson and I learned so many things. Knowing that my students love games, I thought this exercise would be engaging, even more so with the explicit prizes that I brought in.


Before starting the game, I activated prior knowledge by asking them to review their integers, then I asked the class to create the rules of Bingo, adding two at the end.


In terms of classroom management, there were several times that I waited for them before beginning the new game and just waited quietly at the front of the room. I also gave them information about my teaching style (I like the silence of waiting in front of the room. Most of the time they get more uncomfortable than I do.)


I scaffolded the lesson in a way that each student was able to find an access point. I started the game off slow, repeating the questions slowly and multiple times. After the third game, I noticed that my students needed more of a challenge and so I sped up the questions and stated the question only once. Near the end, some students lost interest and decided to do Math work, while nearly half of the class asked me to continue right until the last second before nutrition break.


Right after nut break, the students met us at the gym entrance in order to continue our volleyball unit. It was interesting to see Peter make a judgement call about the limited time we had to put up and take down a second net. Half of the class end up playing a game called “Survivor” (Peter made this up!) while the other half had free time. I supervised the “free time” half and it was a little boring for me without a structure, but I had a chance to practice my overhand serves and play a bit of basketball with Adam. What I’m taking away from this experience is that there are going to be slower, not so exciting moments in teaching and we just have to go with the flow.


Last week I gave the Integers Bingo game to Angela for her grade 8 class and it was interesting how she interpreted the exercise. I think the class still appreciated the lesson and liked the prizes that came long with it.





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